The Birmingham Assay Office has announced a new collaborative tenancy and partnership with Birmingham City University’s (BCU) School of Jewellery.
As part of the agreement the university’s gemmology department will move into new premises at 1 Moreton Street in the Jewellery Quarter, which it hopes will enable further development of gemmological training for its students.
BCU said it forms part of “ambitious plans” to establish a “centre of learning excellence” for the Midlands jewellery trade.
Set to be completed by the end of 2015, the relocation will provide facilities for 90 full-time and part-time gemmology students from BCU, as well as access to the highest specification of equipment available for gemmological education within the UK.
Through access to equipment for testing diamonds at Assay Office Birmingham’s AnchorCert Gem Laboratory, students will also have increased opportunity for gemmological research along with the knowledge and expertise of subject specialist staff.
Gaynor Andrews, head of the School of Jewellery, said: “This partnership will provide students with access to resources they otherwise wouldn’t have had, as well as opportunities for members of the public and those seeking further personal development to access new training courses and work placements.
“Positioning an educational resource within a working environment will also stimulate Assay Office Birmingham employees to undertake continual professional development, therefore supporting an upskilling of the existing workforce.”
Stella Layton, CEO of the assay office, added: “The School of Jewellery has an excellent reputation both in the UK and internationally and we see great value in this collaboration which will be of huge mutual benefit and contribute to the significant development of the School’s gemmological courses.”